Why Did She Do That?!

Rachel Scott’s crazy-making tactics on the Joy Behar Show

 

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Look, Mimi~ I’m on TV!  LOL

When I first received the phone call asking me to go to New York to be interviewed on the Joy Behar Show ~ I had to admit that I had no idea who Joy Behar is.  “I am still pretty culturally illiterate after all my years as a fundamentalist Quiverfuller,” I explained.  “We do have cable TV now, but the kids keep it tuned to the Disney Channel.”  So, I can tell you all about Demi Levato, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus … in fact, I think I’ve got Hannah Montana’s basic hairstyle … :)

Anyway … I quickly brought myself up to speed on Joy ~ and on Tuesday, Nov. 3 ~ I had the opportunity to meet this dynamic woman in person as I had the honor of being a guest on the “Addicted to Babies” segment of her program.  (Here’s the transcript ~ so far, the video is not available online.)  I have already posted  the “just the facts” account of my appearance on the Joy Behar Show ~ but now, I want to go more in depth and write my perspective on the actual content of the Quiverfull segment.

And since I am “no longer quivering” ~ this one is going to be mercilessly truthful …

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Kathryn, Me, and Rachel in the “green room” after the show

My comments here are going to follow along fairly closely with the transcript beginning with the seating arrangement of the guests: Rachel Scott, Kathryn Joyce, then me on the end. 

At first glance, the placement of Rachel in the prominent position next to Joy Behar might give the appearance that her pro-Quiverfull views were being given credibility and that, being seated farthest away from Joy, I was only invited as a token “contrary voice” in order to give the appearance of “objectivity” for the program.

In truth, the reason Rachel was front and center on Joy’s program is that her stated views and the manner in which she presents herself are so incomprehensibly outrageous ~ how often does a talk show hostess get an opportunity to put such obvious delirium on display?

I mean, it is HARD to get a sincere, practicing QF woman anywhere near a TV camera.  I have had half a dozen reporters contact me all with the same question: where can I find a Quiverfull woman who would be willing to be interviewed?  “Ann” at 20/20 had to shelve the QF program idea because she could not find even one such woman.

There are several reasons for this ~ chiefly: QF moms are way too overwhelmed with the care and nurture of their children to take time out for an interview ~ plus, fundamentalist Christians in general harbor a deep-seated mistrust of the ”mainstream media.”  They are painfully aware that their ideals are not understood or appreciated by the mostly-secular producers of popular entertainment ~ and these women have no desire to be made to look like mindless, out-of-date aberrations in front of millions of television viewers.

But Rachel Scott LOVES to be on TV ~ and she doesn’t mind being the two-headed lady in the freak show so long as she can be the center of attention.

Now ~ on to the actual program:

BEHAR: And Quiverfull, evangelical women who have as many as 18 kids because they believe children are gifts from God. Couldn’t they ask God for a crock pot?

Joy just pulled that slam-dunk refutation of QF right off the top of her head!  I can see why the lady has her own TV show.

Kathryn was asked to introduce the topic ~ and she did an admirable job, especially considering how difficult it is to summarize the Quiverfull “movement.”  Throughout the interview, Kathryn kept a level head ~ she remained focused and continually brought the conversation back to the actual issues each time that Rachel went hopping down the bunny trail of equivocation, evasion, irrelevancy and outright lies.

She took off down that path at the very first opportunity when Joy asked her if she is a submissive wife:

RACHEL SCOTT, MOTHER AND AUTHOR: I believe that my husband and I have an equal partnership. But in matters of dispute, I would say that the two of us make decisions pretty much together as team. So I think submission is misunderstood.

Notice how Rachel starts out saying that she and her husband have an equal partnership except (“but”) in matters of dispute ~ but changes her tune in mid-sentence.  So is she denying that she is a submissive wife?  Because in the next breath, she tells us that submission is “misunderstood” ~ which would be an irrelevant point if patriarchy is not actually an integral element of the Quiverfull philosophy.

BEHAR: So it’s not the total patriarchy that it’s painted – as in the film piece that I saw.

Translation: WTF? The whole reason we’re doing this show is to promote an upcoming ”Secret Lives of Women” episode, in which Rachel is quoted as saying, “My husband is in charge.”  But now, you’re telling us patriarchy has nothing to do with Quiverfull?

Yes ~ it took all of five minutes for Rachel to have Joy Behar beginning to doubt her own sanity.

SCOTT: I don’t believe that is total accurate depiction of Quiverfull actually, so, no.

“No.”  Rachel’s final answer was “No.”

In her book, “Raising God’s Mighty Warriors,” Rachel equates unsubmissive women with the Old Testament practitioners of witchcraft, divination, idolatry, and fortune-telling.  She goes so far as to suggest that this sin of rebelliousness may be the reason why some women experience infertility.

The introduction and first chapter of Rachel’s book is available online in pdf format here.

Not only did Rachel misrepresent her own views on national television, she presumed to speak for the Quiverfull movement as a whole, saying that, “No” ~ being Quiverfull is not about patriarchy and submission.

At least, I think that’s what she said.  Her rabbit trails are often too convoluted to follow.

BEHAR: What do you say to people; maybe Kathryn can answer this, who say that you’re having children for political purposes. That you’re trying to – you call it repopulate the world with babies that you produce. And that it’s not just about having a baby to have children and ah have a family life but more like to — to make a point almost, to like recreate the earth.

SCOTT: Well for us, I believe we’re just, we believe that we’re being blessed with these children. We’re not doing it for a political purpose. We’re doing it for a spiritual purpose in a sense that we want to be on God’s team. He said to populate the earth and we love God, so a child’s a blessing. And we enjoy that blessing.

From Rachel’s website:  We are presently living in the last generations before Christ returns. The children that we are birthing right now are the beginnings of this end-time army of Mighty Warriors who will worship the Lord and prepare the way for His return.

From her book:  Children are our ammunition in the spiritual realm to whip the enemy!  … These special arrows were handcrafted by the warrior himself and were carefully fashioned to achieve the purpose of annihilating the enemy.

God also says there is power in numbers!  When God’s people are plentiful, we can come up against society going in the wrong direction, against wicked political systems, against immoral laws and anitfamily legislation, and make them back down!

I don’t know ~ she says “us” and “we” are not politically motivated, but her written statements sound about as political as it gets. 

BEHAR: Well do you feel the same way about let say an Islamic family that would have 12 children to repopulate? Do you feel the same way about them?

SCOTT: Do I believe they’re doing it politically? Is that what you’re asking me?

BEHAR: No, do you think that it God’s will for them to also do what you’re doing? You do?

SCOTT: Actually when God said be fruitful and multiply, the neatest thing about it was that it was not for a specific religion. It was for people of the earth.

Oh really, Rachel?  If you truly believe that all people of the earth should reproduce prolifically ~ the same as Believers, how do you explain the following item from your website?

The enemy is also preparing his army for battle. Believers do not need to fear the army of the enemy but we do need to be aware that they exist. On the other side there are children being born who already desire to promote the enemy’s agenda. Some are chosen in the womb through demonic rituals or other forms of evil. Some are birthed into this world and taught to hate. The only hope these children have is to find Christ, but until they do they will be increasingly susceptible to the deeds and plans of the enemy.

In the interest of brevity (ha ha), I’ll skip the part where Rachel implied that Catholics are not Christian and Joy’s reaction made her tone it down.  Not that she actually conceded ~ just pulled another head-spinning maneuver to keep us all wondering what the heck she was trying to say.

After the break, Joy asked Rachel what advice she would give to Nady Suleman, “the Octomom.”

Pray a lot, trust God a lot, and seek outside help.

I have to say, Rachel’s advice is really telling.  But I think exactly what it tells us is pretty clear to all ~ so I’m going to go on with the program so I can get to where I’m going.

I’m also going to breeze past the discussion about divorce, abuse, not sending QF daughters to college, and pause to say “a little” about this comment by Rachel:

SCOTT: maybe in a very, very remote segment. Quiverful has gone main stream. And we’re talking a lot of people have college educations who decide to have large families. It’s everywhere now. It’s definitely changing.

This is Rachel Scott’s “message“: Quiverfull has gone mainstream.  She wants to convince the world that, “See ~ we’re normal.  We’re just like everyone else ~ except that we love babies.”  And her broad, incessant smile tells us that if only we could see things her way, we would all be perpetually happy too.

As an astute NLQ member observed ~ her tactics are eerily reminiscent of the “love bombing” techniques employed by coercive religious groups when you’re new to it all and they’re trying to draw you in.  Of course, she’s going to pass herself and QF off as “mainstream” ~ and there’s no way that she’ll let on that what she is advocating is an extremely demanding lifestyle with heavy restrictions on personal liberty and freedom of thought.

Jesus came right out and told His “recruits” ~ you’re going to have to give up everything if you want to follow me.  Rachel Scott thinks she knows of a more effective way to win converts ~ just smile, and don’t mention all the particulars of the QF lifestyle.  She’d just as soon downplay the nasty little reality part of it ~ the part which Joy Behar didn’t hesitate to point out: 

And the other thing about this Quiverfull thing is that you home- school all the children. I mean you’re cooking, you’re cleaning, you’re wiping their nose, they get sick in the night, they break a leg. They fall off the swing and you have to teach them, too, and have sex with your husband constantly, I can`t take it. I just can’t even imagine day at your house.

Oh no ~ says Rachel ~ it’s not really like that.  You just have to be more ogranized and then it’s really not that bad …

How is this representative of the Quiverfull adherents who actually strive to be a “peculiar people”?  Even your run-of-the-mill Christians do not really attempt to “fit in” with our modern society which they deem to be fallen and “godless.” 

So why does Rachel want to portray Quiverfull as “mainstream”?  I just don’t get it.

Okay ~ but there’s the whole problem right there: trying to “make sense” of and deal rationally with a person who cares about QF only so far as it gains attention for her.  She is not so committed to the philosophy that she would actually devote focused mental energy towards clearly articulating what Quiverfull is really all about ~ no because that would require Rachel to stop thinking about herself long enough to pay attention to the actual topic at hand.

Seriously ~ my encounter with Rachel Scott on the Joy Behar Show, and afterward at the hotel, reminded me of my quivering days when all my energy was drained away from trying to “deal with” my ex-husband. 

Her condescension ~ her steamrolling ~ her dismissive attitude to any and every challenge ~ I was wishing I’d had the domestic abuse hotline number programmed into my cell phone ‘cuz I really wanted to report the woman to the authorities!

Lately, I’ve been reading psychologist, Lundy Bancroft’s classic book, “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.”  Bancroft lists several attitudes and behaviors which characterize an individual with an abusive personality ~ and I’m going to say that, from my personal encounter with Rachel ~ the woman truly fits the bill.

From the way Rachel insisted that “God is a feminist” and then apparently without regard for consistency or logic, went to bashing feminism, offering a recent Time magazine article as support for her contention that “women aren’t happy” ~ to her unbelievably offensive insistence after the show that I never really was a true Christian,  that I was only “following” a twisted version of Quiverfull, and that I “misunderstood” what submission is really all about ~ I can only conclude that the answer to everyone’s question, Why Did She Do That? ~ Why would she flat-out lie on national television? ~ is found in Bancroft’s assessment that the abuser’s “goal in a verbal conflict is not to negotiate different desires, understand each other’s experiences, or think of mutually beneficial solutions.  [The abuser] only wants to win.”

It is tempting to turn the “No True Scotsman” fallacy around on Rachel by declaring that she is not a true Quiverfull believer ~ she does not represent the Quiverfull ideals since she sends her kids to public school, works part-time outside the home, denies the importance of a woman’s submission, etc.  But no ~ I am not going to go there.

Instead, I want to say that Rachel Scott did not go on the Joy Behar Show as a representative of the Quiverfull movement ~ she went on the show to represent and promote Rachel Scott.  And the truly bizarre thing about it ~ all the while she’s making such a spectacle of herself, Rachel is acting as though all the rest of us are the crazy ones ~ while she herself, so friendly and generous, makes perfectly good sense.

I’m so grateful that Joy insisted on Kathryn having the last word.  I appreciate Kathryn’s concern in bringing us back to the facts ~ and the plain and simple fact is that Quiverfull is “deeply anti-feminist” ~ it is a movement which seeks to take women back to the Dark Ages.

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